Tolkien Resigns

Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, has announced his resignation as director of the Tolkien Estate. His resignation paves the road for a change in management which may have been responsible for the sale of rights to Amazon announced earlier this week.
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Obituary: Michael Satran

Game designer Michael Satran died on October 28 from a brain tumor. Satan Began gaming in 1979 and worked as a designer for Hero Systems, publishing several sourcebooks and modules for the Champions system. He also created the Iron Sky RPG.

Obituary: Julian May

Author Julian May (b.1931) died on October 17. May entered fandom in her late teens and published the fanzine Interim Newsletter. Her first professional sale, “Dune Roller,” appeared in Astounding in 1951, including original illustrations by May. In 1952, she chaired the TASFIC in Chicago, becoming the first woman to chair a Worldcon. She married author Ted Dikty in 1953 and sold the story “Star of Wonder” before dropping out of science fiction and fandom for several years. With the exceptions of two episodes of the “Buck Rogers” comic strip, she focused on writing for encyclopedias and non-fiction books under a variety of pseudonyms. In 1972, “Dune Roller” was filmed as The Cremators. She returned to science fiction in 1976 when she attended Westercon 29. The costume she wore at the convention made her start thinking about the character’s background and grew into the six book Galactic Milieu series. She also wrote the four book Saga of the Pliocene Exile and collaborated on the Trillium series with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. Health issues prevented May from participating in a panel with the living chairs of the other Chicago Worldcons in 2012, and in 2015 she was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame.

WSFA Small Press Award

The winner of this year’s WSFA Small Press Award, presented at Capclave on October 7 to original short fiction published by a small press, is “The Tomato Thief,” by Ursula Vernon. The story was published in Apex Magazine.
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Wonders and Visions Crowdsourcing

Adam Roberts and Graham Sleight are running a crowdsourcing event at Unbound to publish the book Wonders and Visions: A Visual History of Science Fiction. The book will look at the history of science fiction through 350 pieces of art and 50,000 words of text.

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Professor Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson has been named Adjunct Professor in Publishing and Genre Fiction at Western State Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Anderson has published numerous books and short stories and is the publisher and editor of WordFire. He is currently wokring on an MFA from Lindenwood University.

Obituary: Yoji Kondo

Astronomer and author Yoji Kondo (b.1933) died on October 9. Kondo served as the president of various commissions for the International Astronomical Union and headed the astrophysics lab at the Johnson space center during the Apollo and Skylab missions. He published several astronomy books. In addition, Kondo wrote science fiction using the name Eric Kotani and edited Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein.

Obituary: ElizaBeth A. Gilligan

Author ElizaBeth A. Gilligan died on October 9 following a battle with cancer. Gilligan began publishing in 1990 with the short story “Evolution.” Her Silken Magic trilogy beginning with Magic’s Silken Snare was published by DAW Books from 2003-2017. She also edited the anthology Alterna-Teas. She wrote a column for Midnight Zoo in the early 90s and served as Secretary for SFWA from 2002-2003.

Obituary: Kit Reed

Author Kit Reed (b.Lillian Craig Reed, 1932) died on September 24 from an inoperable brain tumor. Reed published her first short story, “The Wait” in 1958 and she was nominated for a Hugo for Best New Author of 1958, a forerunner to the John W. Campbell Award. Her short fiction has appeared in both genre and mainstream magazines and has been collected in ten collections over the years. She was nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award three times and received the ALA Alex Award for Thinner Than Thou. Her novel Where was a John W. Campbell Memorial Award finalist. Reed was a Guggenheim Fellow and Resident Writer at Wesleyan University. Reed’s most recent novel, Mormama, was published earlier this year.

Joan Aiken Prize

The first Joan Aiken Prize was won by Tim Ellis for Harklights. The competition is for works of middle-grade fiction and was judged by Lizza Aiken and agent Julia Churchill. Ellis receives £1,000 and a set of Aiken’s The Wolves Chronicles. The winner was announced on September 14.
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